Saturday, August 17, 2019

The 3D Building Age Map

Bert Spaan's Netherland's Building Age Map, created for the Waag website, is one of my favorite interactive maps of all time. This map visualizes the age of a staggering 9,866,539 buildings in the Netherlands. This is very impressive in itself but its use of distinct colors for buildings of different construction ages means that the map also has a striking visual impact.

Inspired by Spaan's map Parallel has created a Netherlands Building Ages interactive map which shows not only the age of 10 million buildings in the Netherlands but the height of those buildings as well. This map makes use of Mapbox's GL extrude property to visualize the height of all the buildings in 3D. The colors of the buildings indicate their age. You can also hover individual buildings to learn a building's exact year of construction.

The map team at the City of Amsterdam used the same Construction and Address Database (BAG) used in the above two maps to create an animated map of the construction of Amsterdam over time.

Amsterdam Growing Over Time is an incredible animated map which shows how the city of Amsterdam has developed and grown from a few houses in the 17th century into the dynamic city it is today. Click on the play button and you can watch as the city's building footprints are added chronologically to the map based on each building's age.

Some of the buildings in the BAG database are obviously newer buildings which have been built in the same location and which replaced older buildings. The map therefore doesn't provide an exact picture of how the city developed. However Amsterdam has enough historical buildings still standing for the animated map to provide a reasonable overview of how Amsterdam has grown over the centuries.

Using Mapbox's extrude property it would be possible to create an animated map of Amsterdam which showed the buildings of the city growing out of the map over time. This sort of historical animated map might be even more impressive in somewhere like New York, a city where there are much taller buildings. Imagine an animated map of New York during the 20th Century showing the city's skyscrapers emerging from the map and growing ever taller over time.


Rajput Wasim said...


BigInch said...

Not good. Now we can confuse building height with age. There is absolutely no reason to use 3D just because you can. There is no reason why color could be used to show age painted onto buildings exhibiting their proper 3D height.

BigInch said...

Sorry I mmisunderstood. Buildings are colored to show age. The height is their height.